If you’re a single working parent, you already know how tough your position is. You’re constantly having to jump between two very different mind-sets. In one, you need to focus on keeping up your performance at work, chasing promotions and fostering relationships. On the other, you have to do a good job of raising your kids. Here’s some advice for doing well in both of these roles.
First of all, start having family meetings. This might sound a little rigid for your household, but when you’re a working parent, it can really help. Being away from home for a long time can mean you drift out of touch with what’s going on within your household. Counter this by choosing a neutral communal area (kitchens are good) and having regular meetings with you, your partner, and the kids. Give everyone a time to speak, when everyone else has to sit and listen. This will keep you updated about what’s going on in the lives of your family, and give you an early warning of anything you’ll need to help with. It will also teach your kids good methods for dealing with disagreements. If your kids are fairly young, it’s good to have some rigid rules! Click here for some more tips.
My second tip is to look into the possibility of working from home. While you still can’t spend the day taking care of your kids, you’ll be in a much better position to if your office is in your house. If you have a white-collar job, and you’ve been at your company for a number of years, then the solution might be right under your nose. However, not every company can afford to have even their best employees working from home. If this is totally out of the question, then there still may be alternatives. Starting your own business, stock trading and other methods are all fantastic sources of extra income. Click here for a guide on being wealthy and independent.
If you know you can’t work from home, and child day care is essential, then make sure you’re choosing the right carer. When your kids are young, there isn’t that much they need to be learning. However, when a parent takes an early, active interest in their education, they’ll get a nice head start when they enter school. If possible, book your kid into a care centre. Check out the curriculum they teach, how they enforce discipline, and any emergency measures. The discipline policy and curriculum in particular should be important factors in your choice. These can quite easily clash with your system at home, and end up confusing the child. Independent childminders will usually be happy to teach kids things while they work. However, you may need to splash out if you want one with specialist knowledge.
I know it’s tough being a working parent. However, there’s no reason you can’t fill both of your roles perfectly. As you change things up and get into a system, it will all become easier!